BEST BEACHES IN TURKS AND CAICOS
Not all Caribbean Islands are created equal, and not all beaches are created equal. If your idyllic beach includes powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters, then you’ve come to the island. Or at least, the right blog post as you prepare to come to this island. Turks and Caicos has no shortage of beautiful beaches, with long stretches of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean. Our island has also humbly received multiple awards for our beaches including the 2022 “Best Beach category” named by TripAdvisor for Grace Bay Beach. Let’s talk about the best beaches in Turks and Caicos!
Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach is what beach dreams are made of – 7.5 miles of walkable beaches with fine sand. It is the perfect beach for children learning to swim as the waters are clear and calm. You’ll actually find many family-friendly resorts in Providenciales that are set on Grace Bay Beach, including Beaches Turks & Caicos and Grace Bay Resorts, a collection of private villas and hotel resorts. One of our favorite accommodations located on Grace Bay Beach is The Sands at Grace Bay. We have a “Stay and Play” program with them, so if you happen to be staying there, let us know and you’ll receive a special discount of $200 off your base charter price. Please note that our private deep sea fishing excursions and private snorkeling excursions offer pick up & drop off at Grace Bay resorts.
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is a small island with no facilities or development of any kind. This would not be ideal for families with small children but would be ideal for adventure travelers. An excursion to Half Moon Bay is a short 15 minute boat ride from Grace Bay Beach. Half Moon Bay is a narrow strip of pristine tropical beach that has formed between two uninhabited cays. It’s a wonderful place to go by kayak, or go early morning and bring a picnic.
Leeward Beach is another beach located in Provo. It is located on the northeast end, and is one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos. This beach surrounds the residential area of Leeward, where you’ll find slightly less tourists. This is a perfect beach for couples looking for some seclusion with private walks along the ocean and viewing the scenic sand dunes. On this walk, you may get to see the TCI Ferry going or coming from North Caicos. In the wee distance, you can see Little Water Cay, a tiny uninhabited island where iguanas roam free. The Leeward area features upscale private homes, luxury villas, and shopping.
Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach (in Providenciales – not to be confused with the one in St. John!) is a beautiful white sand beach located on the southeastern side of Providenciales. It’s a narrow beach with an amazing amount of conch shells. It is a kite surfers paradise! If kite surfing isn’t your jam, riding the Provo Ponies down to the beach might be more your speed.
Taylor Bay Beach
Taylor Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos, where you can get away from the crowds. Here, you’ll find shallow and warm waters several hundred feet out from the beach. Here, you won’t find any commercial beach operations. It’s all about being low-key and low-speed. This is the perfect beach to unplug – and yes that includes social media!
Governors Beach has made our list, even though they are not on Providenciales. This pristinely clean beach is located on Grand Turk. It’s a great spot for beginner snorkelers and divers. It’s close to both Cockburn Town and the Cruise Center, and is popular for both locals and tourists alike. Typically, most travelers to Grand Turk visit via cruise ship.
Sapodilla Bay Beach
Sapodilla Bay is a scenic and sheltered beach, located near Chalk Sound on Providenciales. This beach is very family friendly. The water is shallow which is great for kids. You can also rent beach chairs and umbrellas or purchase food and drink from the vendors here. Make sure to bring cash as cards are not accepted by all vendors. There’s also lots of music blasting for a fun time (not a quiet time)! After a day at Sapodilla Bay Beach, most tourists will stop at Las Brisas Restaurant & Bar for dinner before heading back to their accommodations. We recommend the grilled lobster (when in season), seafood paella, and rum punch.
Blue Hills Beach
Found off the northwest coast, Blue Hills Beach is one of the three original settlements on Providenciales. It is a residential community on the north-western side of Providenciales. What makes this beach one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos is more so about the journey to get there. Similar to Maui’s “The Road to Hana ” where it’s all about the journey to Hana, as opposed to the destination itself. Along the beautiful scenic Blue Hills Road route, you’ll see small churches and colorful buildings, Caicos Sloops, and coconut palm trees. Once you make it to the beach you’ll also likely see small sailboats. It’s a serene and peaceful drive for the day. This isn’t a beach we’d recommend for those staying a short while (say, 3 nights?) but if you have a full week to spend at least, we recommend journeying out especially for the Conch Festival held every year in November in Blue Hills! Don’t forget to visit the popular Da Conch Shack restaurant (temporarily closed at the time of this post) located on Blue Hills Beach along with a few small vendors.
Malcolm Road Beach
Malcolm Road Beach features a scenic stretch of coastline and is GREAT for snorkeling. Just note that the drive out is quite long and rough, so great for those adventure seekers. If you’re using a rental car, we recommend all-wheel drive if possible. Most travelers will have issues getting here without a 4×4 or Jeep so keep that in mind. This is not a commercial beach so you won’t find any bathrooms, running water, beach attendants, vendors, or lifeguards. It’s a “swim at your own risk” beach; however it’s still one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos and offers some of the best snorkeling at Smith’s Reef and the Bight Reef – two of our favorite snorkeling spots!
Turtle Tail Beach
The Turtle Tail area is a nice, beautiful, quiet residential area found on the south coast of Providenciales. It’s comprised of a few beautiful islands including Bristol Cay, the Dick Penn Cays, and the Bird Egg Cays. Similar to Chalk Sound Lagoon, the water in the area is that idyllic turquoise color. You’ll find quite a few rental vacation villas within this area (as opposed to hotels & resorts) as this area is a more private region of Providenciales. Besides Bob’s Bar, there are no restaurants, shops, or large resorts here. In terms of accommodations, we recommend either Banyan Inn or Harbour Club Villas.
Although we have love for our hometown here in Providenciales, it would be a shame for us to not mention Mudjin Harbor, located in Middle Caicos. Mudjin Harbor is a nice sandbar that extends out to very picturesque rocks with tidal pools in them. Unlike the flat beaches of Provo, it’s surrounded by headlands, a narrow piece of land that projects from a coastline into water. What makes this beach so striking is the high limestone cliffs (think Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, only with turquoise water instead)! Fun fact: this area was originally named “Bermudian Harbor” after the country it resembles. Over time, it was shortened to “Mudian Harbor” and finally named “Mudjin Harbor.” Because of the nearby reefs, sharks can sometimes be seen close to shore. Swimmers beware and swim with lots of caution.
North Bay Beach
The exquisite and secluded North Bay Beach is located on Salt Cay and has the most perfect turquoise water and clear white sand, making it one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos. Salt Cay is the smallest of the main inhabited islands in Turks and Caicos. For reference, there are a total of 6 main inhabited islands in Turks and Caicos:
- North Caicos
- Middle Caicos
- South Caicos
- Grand Turk
- Salt Cay
While Grace Bay Beach (located in Providenciales) receives the most accolades and awards, we feel North Bay Beach is just as deserving – especially without the crowds to compete with. There are also small reefs for beginner snorkelers. The reefs off North Bay Beach feature parrotfish, blue tangs, Queen triggerfish and angelfish. If you’re lucky, you can also find larger sea creatures including the barracuda, southern brown stingrays, and spotted eagle rays.
Pine Cay Beach
Pine Cay Meridian Club is a distinctive 800-acre private island resort set on Pine Cay Beach. This resort’s motto is “barefoot luxury,” and it couldn’t be more spot on! If you are lucky enough to stay in one of the 13 luxurious beachfront residences here, you’ll have access to Pine Cay Beach. This beach and island is the ideal venue for family reunions, corporate retreats, and couples. Here, you can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, sailing, and of course our favorite activity: FISHING! Every morning, you’ll wake up to beautiful blue and calm water. For those who don’t like the hustle and bustle of vendors, you may enjoy the privilege of staying on a private beach where sales outside of the resort are not permitted. If you’re looking for the perfect place to unplug (while also being pampered), we highly recommend Pine Cay Meridian Club and Pine Cay Beach.
Cedar Point Beach
Last on our list, but certainly not least, Cedar Point Beach is also one of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos. It can be found on the far eastern point of Middle Caicos. The water here is very shallow and offers large sandbars, depending on the varying weather conditions. Nature lovers and adventurers will enjoy this remote beach set on an incredible coast. Middle Caicos is home to amazing beaches including Mudjin Harbor that we previously discussed. Cedar Point Beach, however, will be a farther drive to access than Mudjin Harbor. We feel the juice is still worth the squeeze if you’re looking for a more remote beach. This beach is perfect for collecting shells. Just make sure you return the shells to the beach, as we want to “take only pictures, leave only footprints.”